So I realize that I have been sitting on this recipe forever (like I made them on New Year’s Eve kind of forever) and also that I still haven’t tweaked it completely. That being said these little puffs of crispy crackers were just right with a dollop of Hot Pepper Jelly (Christmas gift courtesy of sister and her girlfriend) as a toast to the new year (or would have been had the boyfriend and I stayed awake). There’s something indulgent in having a cracker made with butter, asiago, and cream as the main ingredients, topping the whole thing with smoked sea-salt well that borders on the obscene.
So with crackers made and veggies in sticks arranged on a plate we ate a meal of appetizers, followed up by perfect miniature cannoli from Modern Pastry in the North End. Turned on The Spirit and promptly fell asleep. As an adventure in seeing the ball drop it was a fail, but as an evening spent together indulging in homemade and milk-based delights in was heaven.
Asiago Cream Crackers
Adapted (eversoslightly) from SmittenKitchen
Note: I made these with just asiago but a little bit of finely chopped rosemary (or whatever you like with your asiago) would be wonderful in them, I’m sure of it. I’m thinking that next time they will have sun-dried tomatoes reconstituted in a little olive oil and chopped into fine slivers, I’m on the end of thinking that would be “practically perfect in every way.”
1 cup All purpose flour, more for flouring and rolling as needed
½ tsp salt
½ cup finely grated hard Italian cheese (I used asiago, SK used parmesan and thinks romano would work well too)
2 Tbs of herbs/sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
4 Tbs butter, cold (salted or un- it doesn’t really matter, if your butter is salted cut your salt in half)
¼ cup cream or half and half
Smoked sea-salt, fresh pepper, sesame seeds, rosemary – whatever you want for sprinkling
Heat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add flour, salt, cheese, butter, and herbs/sun-dried tomatoes (if you are using them) to the bowl of your food processed. Pulse the food processor until the flour and butter are combined (about the size of peas). Add your cream or half and half and let the machine run until a dough forms (this should be quick so don’t wander away to catch the game or read a book). If you are not getting a dough add liquid one tsp at a time until it does, you want the dough to be one mass but not sticky.
Roll out the dough to ¼ inch thick or thinner on a lightly floured surface. You can either cut the crackers now, like I did or just leave score marks down where you would like them to break apart, either way these crackers should be crispy and light when they come out of the oven. I made mine as little squares this time I think I’ll try to make straws when I make them again. Regardless poke them all over with a fork (so they look like crackers), brush them with milk/cream/half and half and sprinkle whatever toppings you have chosen on top.
Bake until they are moderately golden brown in the middle of the oven, about 12 minutes. Cool on a rack and serve warm or cold with hot pepper jelly or any spread (they were pretty delicious plain as well).
I don’t know how long these crackers will last but boyfriend and I ate a whole batch of them in one sitting over a game of Monopoly…